Ames’ review of Fame, Love and Other Lessons by Jo Frances.
College freshman Jamie Cameron and her brother Luke attended the same university—which is why she didn’t understand why he was avoiding her. That is, until she met his teammates on the basketball team. Most of them were notorious for their hook-ups and bad boy ways, and Luke had wanted to keep his beautiful sister far away from them.
Jamie is safe from their advances until one of them, Chase Reston, offers to walk her back to her dorms late at night. The connection between the two of them is intense. Although she quickly develops strong feelings for him, Jamie doubts that a notorious player like Chase would be interested in someone who wasn’t ready to be in a sexual relationship. But Chase surprises not only Jamie, but everyone else, by his patience.
As the basketball season progresses, Chase has a breakout year and he moves from being an unknown college athlete to one with agents, first class travel and media attention. When Jamie accompanies Chase to the NBA draft, the cameras linger on her striking good looks, and she creates a media frenzy of her own. They leave New York as celebrities and lovers.
Their new lives, while filled with excitement and fame, begins to fray the bonds between them. The constant travel and sometimes cruel public scrutiny takes its toll and Jamie finds herself susceptible to rumors of Chase’s infidelity. She accuses him of cheating on her, and rather than deny it, Chase uses this as an excuse to push her away. Jamie leaves him.
Indulging in some payback, Jamie attends a party where she meets Sean Foley, a rock musician whose celebrity status eclipses anything she has experienced before. Although she is turned off by Sean’s excessive drinking and open promiscuity, the intensity of his feelings for her is hard to resist.
Eventually Jamie has to decide whether to hold on to her first love or trust someone new…
Deciding to read a self-published book is always a bit of a gamble. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t quite know how to feel about this one. I mean, the bare bones of the story were good, but the writing definitely left something to be desired.
The blurb is pretty accurate about everything so I don’t need to write a summary.
As I said earlier, the story was good and what kept me going despite the writing. What was wrong with it? It’s a lot of telling, not showing. It’s makes for a shallow read – there’s no depth to the characters because everything is being told to us. Also, Jamie meets Chase and she feels an immediate connection. Chase feels it too (or so we’re told) but then proceeds to ignore Jamie for a couple of months. If she’s visiting at her brother’s and Chase is there, he will leave. She walks into a room, he walks out of it. Finally though, one night after a game, he decides to quite avoiding her and they hang out. We get no internal dialog from Chase as to why he suddenly changes his mind. So we assume he can’t take being away from her anymore…and why would he feel like that after only one real interaction (when they met)? There’s a lot that’s glossed over with being told things and not shown them. So the insta-connection, it feels fake.
But once Chase and Jamie start their relationship, things go well until he gets drafted. Then Jamie begins to doubt their feelings. Chase tries to calm her fears, they do love each other, but Jamie knows his reputation from before. While in New York for the NFL draft, Jamie gets some media attention as well for being Chase’s girlfriend. This turns into a modeling career just like that, with a snap of the fingers. Within three months, she’s already done NY fashion week and a few other really big gigs. I don’t know much about ANTM, but that seems incredibly fast to be an established model already. So some suspension of belief is required there.
Chase and Jamie are still together during that three months. Chase is based out of LA and Jamie out of NY though. On a flight to LA, Jamie is seated next to a singer (who started her career via an American Idol type show). They exchange pleasantries and the singer makes a casual reference to how players cheat on their girls and how does Jamie deal with it and that she’s seen Chase at a few parties. Doubt, that was already in Jamie’s mind, slowly begins to take over. When she gets to Chase’s that night, he’s asleep so when his phone chimes with a text message, she can’t help but take a peek. She hates herself for doing it, for doubting Chase, but she looks. And it’s a text message from some random chick saying how Chase made her feel good the night before and she can’t wait to do it again. Jamie doesn’t confront Chase about this (because it would reveal her snooping) but she insinuates his cheating and rather than deny it, Chase says nothing and so Jamie walks away.
From there, Jamie meets Sean Foley, a rock star, and they hang out. The media immediately link them together and even though they don’t become lovers, Jamie does feel a connection to Sean as well. Meanwhile, she still has feelings for Chase and they do run into each other from time to time. Chase still loves Jamie too but he feels betrayed by her moving onto Sean only 3 days after their breakup.
The ending is a bit abrupt, with Jamie deciding to talk to Chase and him chasing her to NY and them hashing a few things out. I honestly feel like these two are in for a world more of trouble because I didn’t think they really learned anything from why they broke up. Yes Chase finally denied the cheating and explained why he didn’t deny it, but the main problem for these two is communication. Jamie and Chase both let things bottle up and then they broke up. I can definitely see that happening again in the future. But I would like to hope that those communication and relationship skills develop for these 2 young characters, because despite the writing, I did want to know how their story played out.
3 out of 5
This book is available here in e-format.
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